Someone parking their car at the entrance of your driveway is not only annoying but also inconveniencing. It gets you stuck between towing their car or calling the police for help. From there, you can decide whether to tow it or ask them politely to move their vehicles off your driveway. However, there are many measures you can take to prevent anyone from parking in your driveway, let alone trespassing.
Can you stop unwanted parking in your driveway?
Unwanted parking in your driveway amounts to trespassing. Some drivers may turn hostile or threaten to repeat the offense if you negotiate with them. If your neighbor develops the habit of turning your driveway into a parking lot, it’s time to react.
Here are some considerations you might want to take to stop unwanted parking:
Find out who randomly parked in your driveway and negotiate with them
Someone may park in your home’s parking spot because it is the closest to where they’re going. Perhaps your driveway has ample space, which would tempt anyone to think you aren’t utilizing it effectively. Whatever their reason for random parking in your spot, it shouldn’t be in a way that compromises your security and peace of mind.
The first thing to do is find out whose car it is, most likely your neighbor’s. Try to negotiate with them since you don’t want bad blood between you and the offending party or judging them wrongly. A reasonable person will realize their mistake, apologize, and promise not to make that mistake in the future. Their actions will determine if they’re apologetic or arrogant.
During negotiation, try to keep calm because you’re already upset. This makes it easier for you to reason out with the perpetrator. If they become rude or refuse to move their cars, it’s time to involve the police or parking authority to intervene.
Warn them using a friendly note
Alternatively, you can place a friendly note on their car’s window, asking them to stop parking in your driveway. Be firm and polite when writing a notice like this one. For example, you can say, “Hello neighbor, this is a private driveway. Kindly avoid parking here lest we call a tow company to tow your car!”
A reasonable person will realize their mistake and move the car immediately. However, this option might not be convenient, mainly if someone’s abandoned their vehicle in your driveway.
Involve the police
No one is allowed to park in your driveway unless they have your permission. Consider reporting the matter to the local police in some exceptional cases like an emergency, and someone is blocking your driveway. Legally, the police can help you by recording your statement and calling a tow company. When issuing your statement, make sure you give a detailed report of your street address and type of violation.
By involving the police, it means your efforts to negotiate with the offender have seemed futile. Perhaps you tried asking them politely to move their cars, but they were adamant. Some may abandon their vehicles in your driveway to get back at you for complaining.
In that case, the police can provide you with a document, allowing you to seek help from a towing company. The police can help you by recording your statement and calling a tow company to remove the car. They aren’t allowed to remove the vehicle because it is on private property.
Remember that the towing cost will be on you, but the storage fees will be on the offender. This will remind others that it’s an offense to park in anyone’s driveway without their permission.
Call a tow company
By the time you decide to involve a tow company, it means you’ve exhausted all options to remove the abandoned car in your driveway. It gets you wondering if the law allows you to call the tow company for an illegally parked vehicle on your private property.
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You have the right to do so if you have its license plate and other details suggesting that the offender did it knowingly. This helps in serving a warning to people with similar habits.
Ways to block off driveway access
The last thing anyone needs is waking up to a car parked in their driveways. Some neighbors already know it’s wrong, but they keep parking their cars in front of your house because they seemingly have ample space. Here are a few tips to help you block off your driveway access.
1.Put up signs and traffic cones
A “No Parking Allowed Here” sign and traffic cones are some of the easiest ways of telling your neighbors about their annoying habit of parking in your driveway or blocking your access to it. Ensure the words are legible enough and visible even at night. Put the signs and traffic cones strategically, like the driveway entrance, for easy viewing.
Your warning sign should meet the following standards:
- It should be strategically placed near the entrance of the parking driveway.
- Should have clear words. Remove any barriers like plants or posts to make them more visible.
- Should state the consequences of breaching the warning. For example, you can say, “Any vehicle found parked in or at my driveway’s entrance will be towed.
You can design and print your own “No Parking” sign or purchase one. Remember, you don’t have any authority outside the private property, even if you want to claim parking space. The country sheriff or township highway commissioner reserves the right to put up a sign for public or street parking.
2.Put up a chain across your driveway
Parking in your driveway isn’t the only problem you might face. Sometimes, someone can use your driveway when reversing their car. Prevent that by putting up a chain. While it may not effectively keep people from trespassing your private property, it’s a good start to ending the menace of curious neighbors.
Having a chain across your driveway and placing signs go hand-in-hand. The law might not protect you if someone rummages through your driveway. Ensure the “No Parking” or “No Trespassing” sign is strategically located to avoid putting others at risk.
3.Erect a plastic post and chain fencing around your driveway
Most people prefer recycled plastic posts and chains as driveway blockers because they are robust and durable. These materials will never rot or require frequent maintenance, saving you time and money. When installing such a fence, find out from your township commissioner or local code enforcement officer if you require a building permit. Again, your state’s rules determine what type of fencing and blockers you need.
Ensure it has a rounded, smooth finish so that there is no chance of anyone hurting themselves on the post. This will physically stop them and any stranger from parking in your spot.
4.Install a CCTV pointed toward your driveway
CCTV cameras are designed to provide footage in real-time. Besides helping you identify who the main culprits of trespassing are, video footage can work as tangible evidence if vandalism or car theft occurs near your house.
Naturally, people wouldn’t dare trespass, let alone park, in a place with CCTV. Once you’ve installed it, put up a “24/7 CCTV Surveillance Here” sign warning people that you’re watching them round-the-clock.
5.Paint a line for your driveway
Another way of reminding people to keep off your driveway is by painting a line. Here is a step-by-step guide for doing it:
Step 1: Reach out to your local city building department to survey your driveway. They’ll tell you exactly where your driveway starts and ends.
Step 2: Mail or hand-deliver a copy of the letter to your local parking authority to paint the lines. Doing it by yourself might attract fines because it is the authority’s obligation.
Step 3: Buy the yellow street paint whose marked-off section has a “Tow Away Zone” sign in the middle. Anyone tempted to park there will immediately abandon the idea after seeing the sign.
6.Install a grilled gate secured with a padlock
Installing a gate in your driveway is one way of guaranteeing your privacy and reducing the random parking menace. Unlike a “Don’t Park Here” sign that most people might ignore and feign on lack of visibility, a properly installed gate is the best way to end the blame games. However, you can only install a gate if your local law allows it.
If you’ve been given the go-ahead to install a gate, ensure you lock it with a padlock. Any person found rummaging in or break into your property and parks their car in your driveway might be punished by the law. If you have video footage or proof of them owning the vehicle, you might have a strong case against them.
Your driveway should be your first point of access to your home. Anyone parking on it without your authorization amounts to a trespasser. You have the option of blocking access to your driveway or using the law to your advantage.
Contact the Police and Other Authorities
For example, if someone parks in the entrance of your driveway (he or she didn't park in your private property), which blocks your car in or out, you can call the police for help.
Meaning that you can legally turn around in a driveway with no repercussion, as long as your vehicle remains within the bounds of that public property. Depends. In most cases, it wouldn't be illegal, but there are specific things that would make it illegal.Is it illegal to block a driveway in California? ›
A: It's illegal with very few exceptions for a vehicle to block someone's driveway. California Vehicle Code section 22500 says drivers can't stop, park, or “leave standing any vehicle whether attended or unattended, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a ...Can I tow a car blocking my driveway NYC? ›
Report a vehicle that is partially or completely blocking your driveway. The police may ticket the vehicle. If the vehicle has a ticket and you want it moved, you can call a private towing company or ask the local police precinct to contact "rotation tow." The owner of the vehicle will have to pay any towing fees.Is it illegal to park too close to a driveway? ›
If your vehicle is parked close enough to a driveway where it impedes the flow of normal traffic this would be considered a violation.” Here are some other things to be aware of when parking your car: Do not park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant. Do not park within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection.What if my neighbor parks too close to my driveway? ›
If possible, speak with your neighbor about the problem and ask them to move their car. Confronting them could fix the issue in the future as well. However, if they have left the car parked and you can't reach them and need to leave, consider notifying the police to have the vehicle towed.
The answer boils down to the nature of the parking lot. If the parking lot is 'public' property (state or local), then the driver is subject to whatever traffic laws apply. If the parking lot is 'private' property (such as a big shopping mall), then (with a few exceptions), traffic laws do not apply.Is it illegal to back out of your driveway in Maine? ›
Maine state law does prohibit drivers from backing up on highways, which is understandable as it could lead to a bad accident. However, this law does not apply to your private driveway. Remember to continue to drive responsibility to ensure that you aren't endangering you or other drivers.What is the penal code 30.05 in Texas? ›
According to Texas Penal Code 30.05, criminal trespassing is the act of knowingly entering private property without the consent of the owner. Typically these properties have a sign that forbids entry or the individual is asked to leave the property by one of its residents.Can you get a ticket for blocking your own driveway in California? ›
Technically you can get a parking ticket for blocking your own driveway under CA vehicle code.
A: First of all, there is no law in California against parking in front of someone else's house as long as it's not a red zone, green zone or area otherwise restricted or reserved for permit parking. Public streets are just that – public – and a homeowner has no legal right to reserve the space in front of his house.Are driveways private property in California? ›
California law and jurisprudence seems to recognize front yards and driveways that aren't fenced as public places because members of the public can come to your door without restriction. Solicitors, neighbors, fundraisers, candidates, the mailman, or anyone wanting to speak with you can just come up and knock.How do I stop people parking next to my house? ›
Block their access: if talking to your neighbour doesn't work, then you can try blocking their access to your property. This can be done by putting up a fence or planting bushes. Just make sure that whatever you do, you don't block the pavement as that's considered public property.How far from a driveway can you park in NJ? ›
In New Jersey, it is generally illegal to park in front of your driveway. According to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Code (Title 39), it is prohibited to stop or park a vehicle in front of a private driveway or within 10 feet of a fire hydrant. This applies to both residential and commercial driveways.